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How to use your laundry basket for strengthening, body awareness and fun

How to use your laundry basket for strengthening, body awareness and fun

A simple laundry basket can be used as a surface for an older child to sit on, a working surface for a toddler to kneel or as a place to seat a baby who may need a little extra help with trunk support in sitting.  With a little bit of imagination, a laundry basket can double as a seat, a train, a short table, or a large container, to fill, empty, push, or climb.  Here are some ideas If you have a simple laundry basket at home.

5 ways to use a laundry basket for little ones who can pull to stand:

Gross Motor

  • Climb in and out
  • Climb on and off…..
  • Kneel beside it and knee walk

Fine Motor

  • Place clothes items in and out
  • Turn the laundry basket over and enjoy playing the drums
  • String a scarf through the holes


  • Count and match socks
  • Identify and sort clothes of the same colors….
  • Request a specific article of clothing from the pile

Body Awareness

  • Give your sibling a ride (or place a bunch of cans to add some weight, cover them with clothes)
  • Cover your little one with clothes and play peek a boo…
  • Hide under the basket, role up into a tight ball and take 3 deep breaths

Core control

  • Play eye spy, put on music and collect several items around the house.
  • Use the laundry basket as part of an indoor obstacle course…
  • Sit on top of the basket and reach down across midline to pick up pieces in a game that contains many different pieces.

When a child pushes or pulls a toy, this provides sensory feedback to their body.  Sensory feedback is important because it’s vital to know where one’s body is in space This will activate muscles to move around that space.  The more resistive the activity, the more alert the brain becomes and thus, the more muscles are activated.  A simple laundry basket can help a child build motor coordination, muscle strength, cognition, mobility, and balance. You just need a little bit of imagination.  You can even use a laundry basket as part of an indoor obstacle course. How many games can you think of using a laundry basket?

Firefly Blog

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Sharon Galitzer (Physical Therapist)

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I'm a pediatric physical therapist and also the sibling of an adult with special needs.

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